Synthesized grooves, prominent power chords and translucent vocals fuse together to create a striking sonic treasure chest in Spud Cannon’s Squeeze, which is available now everywhere indie music is sold and streamed. From the moment the noisy, pulsating grooves of “Try for a While” come seeping through our stereo speakers, the infectious energy of the band is inescapable. Over the course of the next fifteen minutes we sail through one opulent melody after another in a stacked deck of feverish hooks melded with controlled atonal white noise. The stylish “Runaway Strays” and pensive “February” attract us with their cosmetic varnish but unfold into exotic indie pop anthems that epitomize 21st century outsider art. Squeeze is packed with so many layers of rhythm that will make you want to dance (“The Lucky Ones,” “The Boogie Man,” a punk rock rendition of “Funky Town”), lament (“Taken for Granted,” “Shadows You Turn To”) and appreciate the power of a stunning vocal amidst calculated chaos (“February,” “Tag”) that calling it an anthology album just doesn’t seem to do its sprawling design justice.
The bulk of material that we find in the first half of Squeeze is meticulously arranged and executed nimbly. “The Lucky Ones” and “Try for a While” are masterpieces of abstract pop magic, and their cleverly understated construction dispels the very notion of self-indulgence. Other songs on this record are a bit messier, essentially drawn out of what I can only imagine to be much longer jams that are presented to us here in a compressed but nevertheless cathartic format. “Funky Town” is reminiscent of the assaultive style of early Devo, while “Tag” and “The Boogie Man” possess the physicality of heavy metal tracks with the power pop harmonies of something a bit more mainstream and melodic. No matter how intense any of the songs get, Spud Cannon remain dedicated to the content and reject the idea of shortcutting us with useless, uninspired filler. As muscular a mix as Squeezesports, there actually aren’t a lot of bells and whistles in these tracks. But then again, when you’ve got the textured overdrive that these riffs are appointed with, you don’t really need any additional post-production polish.
Exquisitely produced and packed with violent grooves and raw harmonies that when played at the right volume have the potential to blow the paint off of your walls, Spud Cannon’sSqueeze is by far their most blistering collection of songs to date. Driven by a combination of brute force and memorable hooks that seem to suit almost any occasion, this LP wears its oddball identity proudly and offers us a different angle of Spud Cannon’s unparalleled style of rock n’ roll. Half of the charm in Squeeze is its careful balance of cosmopolitan swagger and garage-bound punk rock hostility, and in an age of halfhearted crossover acts and scenes that lack any sort of organic identity this group has managed to create a sound that isn’t indebted to any so-called “movement” or corporate agenda. This is their most exciting achievement in the studio so far, but I doubt it will be their last.
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